Published: December 14, 2016
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Red Lake’s business district may soon be getting a hand with rehabilitation initiatives as the Municipality continues to work with Stantec Consulting Ltd. on implementing a community improvement plan.
Presenting to municipal leaders at a special council meeting on Nov. 29, Senior Planner Nancy Reid told those gathered the planning process was in its initial stage which includes gathering data and background on the community and working with residents and business owners to identify current needs.
“Community Improvement Plans (CIP) is meant to focus on commercial areas. They are an economic development tool and are meant to bring new business in and support existing businesses. The largest concentration of businesses is in Balmertown and Red Lake as well as the most potential for growth,” Reid added.
In August the Municipality engaged the consulting firm in developing a CIP which is a municipal planning document. The plan when completed will provide the municipality a framework, among other things, to implement grants and loan programs to assist in the rehabilitation of lands and buildings.
Economic Development Officer Bill Greenway called the plan “dynamic” in that it will allow leaders to ebb and flow funding based on community needs.
“People are encouraged to fill out the survey on-line. If the public wants to have input into this it is the optimal way of doing it. This is working toward improving the quality of life in our community and businesses,” he added last week.
While in Red Lake the week of Nov. 28 Stantec held two consultation sessions, one with key stakeholders and the other a public engagement forum. The group will now start working on interpreting the ideas collected in order to put together a menu of ideas and potential programs to be presented back to the community as they start on phase two.
According to Reid CIPs are a “plan or framework for the physical revitalization of the defined areas of the municipality” and are implemented with an annual budget of municipal dollars.